There are 32 million deaf children in the world, many of whom struggle to read.
Learning to read for deaf children is a very different experience than it is for those of us able to hear, as sign language and spoken language do not directly translate to mean the same things.
For parents with deaf children this can mean that one of the most beloved parts of childhood, being read bed time stories, falls by the wayside.
Now thanks to a new app developed especially for deaf children, parents can give their child back the magic of story time.
Today popular technology brand Huawei launched their latest innovation, StorySign, designed to help deaf children learn how to read by recognising the words on the page and translating them into an on-screen avatar (Star) who signs the sentence.
The app works across 10 different sign languages, including Irish sign language. Currently the app has one book per language, the Irish sign language book being Where’s Spot by Eric Hill.
I tried out the app over the weekend with my children and my one-year-old was absolutely enamored with Star and began trying to copy the signs that she was making.
To celebrate the launch of Story Sign, Huawei brought deaf children from all over Europe to Lapland to try out their new app, play in the snow and of course meet Santa.
The StorySign app is a powerful tool in helping young children with hearing impairments experience the world the same way that every other child can.
One thing that I was really impressed with is how quickly and accurately it scans the book, even if your child is holding the phone at an angle.
Huawei along with the European Union of the Deaf are hoping to improve deaf literacy programs across Europe including the future development of StorySign and you can help.
You can make a donation to help StorySign expand their catalogue of books and give deaf children everywhere the gift of reading.
StorySign is now live on the PlayStore for all Android users.